Feeling stuck? As much as I aspire to live life with Joy and Flow, I feel stuck from time to time. When problems come up, when results aren’t happening fast enough, when self-doubt, fear, and worry hijack my mind and spirit, I know that I need to step back and do a little internal diagnostic check-up.

Feeling stuck is not new territory. Thankfully, getting unstuck isn’t new territory either. I’ve learned what triggers feeling stuck and what I need to do to set myself free again. I’m also learning to question whether the word stuck is accurate.

It’s natural to use a river as an analogy for Flow. But a river doesn’t always flow forward. Ebbs cause a river to flow backward. So, a river ebbs and flows. What’s important to note is that it is still moving. It’s not stuck. It’s all part of the water cycle. These various ups and downs we go through are part of a cycle too.

The following three tips help me to manage those ebbs when I am feeling stuck.

Tip 1 to Get Unstuck: Ask Yourself, Where Am I Putting My Attention?

If you’ve read The Four Steps to FLOW, the first step is to Fancy something. That means to make a decision, to want something. When you truly desire something, people and forces come to support you.

My desire is to write and to write books. You may have the desire to paint, sculpt, play music, start a business, be a great salesperson, or be a great parent. For your desire to come to fruition, you need to give your time and attention to what you Fancy.

We are bombarded with: texts, emails, social media, advertisements, news and breaking news (which seems to be breaking 24 hours a day). So, it’s easy to become distracted.

It’s important to be informed. It’s unhealthy to be inundated. Being constantly connected to our devices and the chaos in the world can block your connection to Flow and cause you to feel stuck.

If I find myself camping out on social media, checking likes, shares, or comments, and usually the lack thereof, I find time slipping away at warp speed.

I’ve taken a ride on the comparison and measurement train that derails my forward progress. It leads to feeling stuck and worse, less than.

That’s when I know I need to unplug and focus on what is most important to me, writing and creating. That’s where my Joy and Flow resides.

So, ask yourself, where you are putting your attention. Go for long blocks of time without checking emails or social media to focus on what you Fancy. You will feel better and reconnect with Flow.

Spoiler alert: The world will go on and will not fall off its axis without you for a few hours.

Tip 2 to Get Unstuck: Say this Prayer

A river is most powerful at its source. Like a river, Flow is most powerful at its Source. When I feel stuck, I use my favorite prayer: Help. Then I sit very quietly and feel God’s presence in the present. My anxiety subsides. I find this prayer always works. (Meditation helps too.)

I love the book The War of Art – Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. It’s a must have book for anyone, especially creative people.

He would name this getting stuck as Resistance. He says that, “Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when he endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul’s seat, the vessel that holds our being-in-potential, our star’s beacon and Polaris.”

Tip 3 to Get Unstuck: Let Go

To quote Steven Pressfield again, “We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause. Do it as an offering to God.”

If you think in these terms, this is what it means to let go. It is surrendering what we do with no outcome in mind. Our intention is to show up and do the work whatever that work is we feel called within us to do.

But we usually don’t let go because letting go is scary! We want certainty and security. So, we tend to hold onto tight control. (How is that control actually working for you?)

There was a vocational retreat I attended led by singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer. In attendance were about 50 people filled with lots of love and positive energy.

Carrie walked us through several exercises, with the last exercise of creating a song together. We named the song The Gift of Uncertainty. Here are the words:

Verse 1:

I thought it would be different.

I thought I’d know by now.

I still have my questions.

I still don’t know how.

But if my heart is open,

If I release control,

And I wait with patience,

I become more whole.

Chorus:

I don’t have to know,

Because the mystery unfolds.

It gives us space to grow.

Nothing’s etched in stone.

I don’t have to know.

Verse 2:

I feel so much lighter

Learning to let go.

It’s a welcome kind of freedom,

And it clears the way to home.

Chorus:

I don’t have to know,

Because the mystery unfolds.

It gives us space to grow.

Nothing’s etched in stone.

I don’t have to know.

When we let go of uncertainty, it does give us space to grow. When we do what makes our heart sing, we come home to ourselves. Home is a place of security.

To recap, when you feel stuck ask yourself where you are spending your time. Say my favorite prayer: Help. Let go of outcomes and embrace the gift of uncertainty. You’ll become unstuck and go with the Flow again.

Do you have any tips you’d like to add? I’d love for you to leave them in the comment section below.

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